Province announces new plan for skills training

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Erica Fisher

Erica is a reporter for Moose FM and in Fort St. John, B.C. She grew up in Victoria, B.C. and received her Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec.

It includes investing $75 million to improve training facilities and equipment, as well as making sure enough technical teachers are available, especially in trades.

The government also plans to promote opportunities in trades and technical fields by improving policies, and reducing the time required to get certification. The intent is to have 50 per cent more high school graduates going into trades or technical programs, as well as having students begin apprenticeships and earn applicable credits before graduation.

Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour Pat Bell believes this plan will create a wealth of skilled workers who will be able to fill positions in the many projects happening around the province.

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"Our plan ensures that B.C. can supply more skilled workers, more quickly, to meet industry needs. We are taking action to ensure that British Columbians have the skills and supports they need to get the jobs that come with economic growth," he says.

Included in those projects are natural gas and mining developments in northeast B.C. Laurie Rancourt, President and CEO of Northern Lights College, points out that our region is already facing a skilled labour shortage that is only going to increase over the next decade.

"As B.C.'s Energy College, we have firsthand experience in, and understand the importance of, effectively meeting this labour force challenge," she argues. "NLC welcomes this commitment from the Province of British Columbia to help NLC, and other post-secondary institutions throughout the province, ensure the development of a skilled workforce that is properly trained and sufficient in numbers to meet the needs of industry and the economy."

As well as helping develop workers here at home, the province is also undertaking three international recruitment missions over this is to recruit and retain international skilled workers through the Provincial Nominee Program.

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